Candice Olivia Böttcher
Why Men’s Violence Against Women in South Africa is Not Changing Swiftly Enough, and What To Do About It
Organised at the prompting of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation (UMF), this webinar is to be held on the anniversary of what a male post office worker did to Mrs Mrwetyana’s daughter. What the man did to Uyinene, a student at the University of Cape Town, when she went to pick up a parcel at the post office on 24 August 2019, is disturbing mirror of the violence men commit against thousands of women and girls going about their daily lives. The main focus of the webinar is men’s violence to women. This violence is so pervasive as to be atmospheric, touching women in their homes, educational settings, workplaces and public spaces. The webinar is a collaborative initiative between the UMF, South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa’s Masculinity & Health Research Unit, and the Psychological Society of South Africa. Among several premises of the organisers of the webinar is that unless we fundamentally overhaul and reconfigure at least three things, viz, (i) structural power relations that uphold men’s violent relations with women, (ii) psychologies, norms, beliefs and practices expressive of hegemonic masculinity, and (iii) the criminal justice system, it will be very long before we stop men’s violence. In addition to their inputs, the panellists and respondents will be asked about what is the large and enduring work, related to power, practices, psychologies, policies, and systems, that is to be done to nurture nonviolent men and shift the prevalent form of masculinity towards egalitarian relations.
Commission for Gender Equality: Mr. Mbuyiselo Botha
Commissioner Botha has worked for Sonke Gender Justice Network, Sharpeville Civic Association and the Red Cross amongst others. He has also served as Deputy Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Foster Care (Department of Social Development), a member of the National Gender Machinery, South African Men’s Forum, Treatment Action Campaign and a Board member at Genderlinks.
Driven by his passion for gender equality and his quest to meaningfully contribute towards building a South Africa that has men who shoulder the responsibility of creating a safe and equal society for all, he persistently participates at various platforms that are geared to address societal ills like gender-based violence, toxic masculinity and other related subjects. He initiated movements geared to meet gender-related challenges, one of such being the South African Men’s Forum. As a Communicator, Commissioner Botha’s commentary appears in several well-thought columns in visual, print and audio mediums like his weekly column in the Sowetan, weekly co-host on Metsweding FM, Cape Talk and SAFM. Further to that, he has co-authored a few academic papers and often presents these at conferences on gender-related matters.
Commissioner Botha’s efforts in the gender sector once gained notoriety through a speech made by former President Thabo Mbeki at a Women’s Day event in 2008, where he (former President) expressed the following … “I would like to make special mention of Mbuyiselo Botha’s South African Men’s Forum. This one man is an example of a new movement among men that has emerged since 1994, influenced and inspired by our liberation and our new Constitution, to redefine and re-interpret the true meaning of equality among all the sexes…. The emergence of gender activists like Mbuyiselo Botha represents a new consciousness of a radical male seeking to create and entrench the ethos of equality and non-sexism in a society where some continue to treat the challenge of gender equality as a side issue. The struggle for gender equality is a struggle for human freedom. The liberation of our country will remain incomplete until the total and unconditional liberation of women is achieved”.
South African Human Rights Commission: Ms. Thandiwe Matthews
Ms Thandiwe Matthews is a human rights attorney and doctoral researcher with experience in the private and public legal sectors in South Africa. Thandiwe is a Senior Researcher: Civil and Political Rights at the South African Human Rights Commission, monitoring the advancement and protection of human rights. Her doctoral research will explore the role of constitutionally protected human rights to address structural inequalities, with a specific focus on social protection for marginalised women, toward the establishment of a more inclusive society in South Africa. She is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fulbright / Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme and was based at the University of Minnesota’s Centre for Human Rights (2015-2016). In 2018, she co-authored and published a bilingual children’s book in English and Zulu, titled ‘Her Story: Daughters of Modjadji,’ focusing on 30 South African women, across generations and from different sectors and spheres of life linked around themes of affirmation, identity and gender and mental health. She was selected as one of the Mail&Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2014.
Thandiwe holds a Masters in Development Studies (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam), Bachelor of Laws (University of the Witwatersrand) and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (University of Cape Town).
Date: 24 August 2020
Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Join us on Webinarjam as we unpack Why Men’s Violence Against Women in South Africa is Not Changing Swiftly Enough, and What To Do About It, and earn 2 General CEU Points!